I am 51 years old and weigh 256 lbs. I have several medical problems, including knee pain. I also sit all day in my job and my long commute. I want to lose weight - where do I start?
Dr. Henry is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician in Palo Alto. She has an interest in integrative medicine, including acupuncture and other complementary medicine approaches.
Losing weight and becoming more active are fantastic goals! If you are mostly sedentary and knee pain is an issue for you, then I would start exercising with simple walking. Research shows that just 30 minutes a day of walking can reduce the risk of premature death, heart disease and diabetes. Once you feel comfortable walking for thirty minutes, you can try to slowly increase the amount of time you walk or speed up the pace you walk.
I almost always recommend keeping a food diary when you are thinking of adjusting your diet. People tend to be more successful when they try to make one or two changes at a time. If you try to change too many things, it can become overwhelming and hard to stick with. When you do a food diary, you can see if there are some simple things to change or patterns you can work on. Food diaries can help point out, for example, if are you getting a lot of extra calories from beverages, or if it seems like you always want to snack before lunch or before bedtime. You can then take your food diary into your primary care doctor and you can confer about one or two goals for you to start working on.